Fa'a'ā International Airport

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Fa'a'ā International Airport
Aéroport international de Tahiti Fa'a'ā
Aéroport international Tahiti Faa'a.JPG
Airport type Public
Operator SETIL - Aéroports
Serves Tahiti, French Polynesia
Location Pape'ete
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 2 m / 5 ft
Coordinates 17°33′24″S 149°36′41″W / 17.55667°S 149.61139°W / -17.55667; -149.61139Coordinates: 17°33′24″S 149°36′41″W / 17.55667°S 149.61139°W / -17.55667; -149.61139
Website tahiti-aeroport.pf
NTAA is located in Tahiti
NTAA is located in French Polynesia
NTAA is located in Oceania
Location in Tahiti
Direction Length Surface
m ft
04/22 3,420 11,220 asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Passengers 1,195,105
Passenger traffic change 14-15 Increase 2.0%
Sources: French AIP[1] Aéroport.fr[2]

Fa'a'ā International Airport (French: Aéroport international de Tahiti Fa'a'ā) (IATA: PPTICAO: NTAA) is in the commune (municipality) of Fa'a'ā, on the island of Tahiti, French Polynesia, 5 km (3.1 mi) west southwest[1] from the town center of Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia.[1] Tahiti is in the northwestern part of French Polynesia, and this is the only international airport in the overseas collectivity of the French Republic. It opened in 1960. Air Tahiti and Air Tahiti Nui have their head offices at the airport.[3]


Fa'a'ā International Airport is relatively small. Air Tahiti has daily flights to most other islands in French Polynesia. There are international flights to Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand and the United States. The airport is on Tahiti which is an island among the Windward Islands: the eastern part of the Society Islands. Mo'orea can be seen across the Pacific Ocean and Mount Tohive'a is a major mountain on Mo'orea. Because of limited level terrain, rather than leveling large stretches of sloping agricultural land, the airport is built primarily on reclaimed land on the coral reef just off-shore.


There are five terminals within one main building. Terminal 2 is the busiest terminal with cafés and souvenir shops. There is an area called the Mahina Lounge. There is one McDonald's at the airport and it is one of the five McDonald's in all of French Polynesia. The conveyor belts are rubber and transport luggage about 40 ft (12 m). The floors in all of the terminals are brown tile. There are metal chairs and wooden benches throughout the airport in which people wait for the bus or other islanders to pick them up.

The Mahina Lounge is a small airside lounge, after the security area. The Mahina Lounge consists of a small café, a jewelry boutique, and a souvenir shop. The café has only a few chairs and offers wine, French pastries, and other foods. The small restaurant is called the Fa'a'ā Cafe and is near the entrance to the Mahina Lounge. The jewelry shop offers Tahitian jewelry and some dresses. The souvenir shop offers postcards, magnets, T-shirts and Tahitian magazines. The souvenir shop has a border with the jewelry shop and people are allowed to go through the border when they have purchased their souvenirs. The open area of the lounge contains 50 purple seats in five rows. When boarding, passengers go to the departure gate which is just behind a wall.

The airport, operated by Setil Aéroports, has a single 3,420 m (11,220 ft) runway,[1] that can accommodate aircraft up to Boeing 747, Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 size.

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air France Los Angeles, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Air New Zealand Auckland
Air Tahiti Ahe, Anaa, Atuona, Arutua, Bora Bora, Fakarava, Hao, Huahine-Fare, Kaukura, Makemo, Manihi, Mataiva, Maupiti, Moorea, Niau, Nuku Hiva, Raiatea, Raivavae, Rangiroa, Rarotonga, Rimatara, Rurutu, Takaroa, Tatakoto, Tikehau, Totegegie, Tubuai-Mataura
Air Tahiti Nui Auckland, Los Angeles, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Tokyo-Narita
Aircalin Nouméa
Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu
LATAM Chile Easter Island, Santiago de Chile

Historical airline service[edit]

Prior to the construction of the airport, Papeete was served by flying boat seaplanes operated by Reseau Aerien Interinsulaire (RAI) with connecting service via the Bora Bora Airport (BOB) to Los Angeles via Honolulu flown by Transports Aeriens Intercontineaux (TAI).[4] By 1960, TAI was serving Papeete directly with Douglas DC-7C propliner flights once a week on a round trip routing of Noumea (NOU)-Nadi (NAN)-Papeete (PPT)-Honolulu (HNL)-Los Angeles (LAX).[5] TAI then introduced Douglas DC-8 jet service and in 1962 was operating nonstop DC-8 flights to Los Angeles, Honolulu and Nadi with the latter flight continuing on to Noumea with connecting DC-8 service being flown to Paris via Noumea in association with Air France via a number of intermediate stops en route.[6]

The airport was previously served by such major airlines as Air New Zealand, AOM French Airlines, Qantas and Union de Transports Aeriens (UTA) with flights not only to their respective home countries but to Los Angeles as well.[7] According to the Official Airline Guide (OAG), these air carriers primarily operated wide body jetliners such as the Boeing 747-100, 747-200, 747-300 and 767-300 as well as the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 on their flights serving Tahiti during the 1980s and 1990s. South Pacific Island Airways also served the airport during the early 1980s with nonstop Boeing 707 flights to Honolulu.[8]



Year Passenger Traffic
2000 1,548,327
2001 1,466,370
2002 1,370,254
2003 1,424,365
2004 1,413,572
2005 1,447,260
2006 1,535,825
2007 1,511,340
2008 1,379,832
2009 1,223,315
2010 1,183,273
2011 1,169,819
2012 1,152,593
2013 1,150,610
2014 1,171,618
2015 1,195,105

Airline market share[edit]


Airline Market share
Air Tahiti Nui 49%
Air Tahiti 22%
Air France 16%
Air New Zealand 7%
Hawaiian Airlines 4%
Aircalin 1%
LAN Airlines 1%

Ground transportation[edit]

Many buses come into the airport from Pape'ete, the main bus being the airport shuttle which goes along the Tahiti west coast freeway, which passes in front of the main terminal. The parking lot has traffic guards in which 3,000 people pass through each month.

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 13 July 1973, Pan Am Flight 816, a Boeing 707, crashed into the sea just after take-off. 78 of the 79 on board were killed.[9]
  • On 12 September 1993, Air France flight 72, a Boeing 747-400 from Los Angeles to Pape'ete, ran off the runway on landing and into the reef at the end of the tarmac . The nose of the 747 was submerged in the water. There were no fatalities.[10][11]
  • On 24 December 2000, Hawaiian Airlines flight 481, a DC-10-10, overshot the runway on landing and slid off the tarmac during a bad storm. There was one minor injury and no fatalities.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d NTAA – Tahiti Faa'a. AIP from French Service d'information aéronautique, effective 8 December 2016.
  2. ^ Aéroport.fr - Statistiques annuelles Aéroport de Tahiti Faa'a (french only)
  3. ^ "Préambule" Air Tahiti. Retrieved on 2 February 2011. "Société Air Tahiti Société Anonyme au capital de 2 760 000 000 CFP Siège social : aéroport de Tahiti - Faaa BP 314 - 98713 Papeete – Tahiti – Polynésie Française ."
  4. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Aug. 15, 1960 Air France system timetable, TAI & RAI flight schedules
  5. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Dec. 12, 1960 Transports Aeriens Intercontineaux system timetable
  6. ^ http://www.timetableimages.com, Aug. 15, 1962 Transports Aeriens Intercontineaux system timetable
  7. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, July 1, 1983 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Papeete flight schedules & Oct. 1, 1996 Official Airline Guide, Los Angeles-Papeete & Auckland-Papeete & Sydney-Papeete flight schedules
  8. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, July 1, 1983 Official Airline Guide (OAG), Papeete flight schedules
  9. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network for Pan Am Flight 816
  10. ^ AirDisaster.Com: Accident Photo: Air France F-GITA
  11. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. 
  12. ^ Accident on at Tahiti Faaa Airport to the DC10-10 registered N132AA operated by Hawaiian Airlines

External links[edit]